How To Use Hashtags: A Quick And Simple Guide For Every Network

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If you told me ten years ago that I would be writing a guide on hashtagging, I would most likely have laughed in your face. (Sorry!). To think of how far the hashtagging world has come in the last few years is mesmerizing… I can still rethành viên when I first came across the foreign concept of “hashtags.” It must have sầu been around 2010, and back then I thought hashtags were just a cheeky little gimmick. My friends and I started speaking in hashtags khổng lồ make fun of the hashtag world. #Sports #Dominoes #MoreWinePlease


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Okay, maybe #MoreWinePlease is still fair game.

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Fast forward to today & the hashtag playing field has changed dramatically. I am now keenly aware of how powerful và critical hashtags are for the social truyền thông strategies of marketers in every industry.

If you’re still laughing at Instagrammers with strings of #’s in the comments or just unclear on how these little tags work, you came to the right place: I’m going lớn chia sẻ everything you’ll ever need to lớn know about using hashtags on Instagram. In this comprehensive guide lớn using Instagram hashtags, you’ll learn:

What a hashtag isWhy you need hashtags on InstagramHow khổng lồ make the most of your #hashtaggingInstagram hashtagging best practicesWhich trăng tròn Instagram hashtags are most popular

Let’s get started!

What is a hashtag, anyway?

The hashtag, or pound, symbol (#) itself had been used in various ways around the web before August of 2007. Then, Chris Messina, a sản phẩm designer from Silinhỏ Valley, brought the hashtag to Twitter and was credited as the founder of the social media hashtag.

“He got the idea of using a hashtag from Internet chat rooms that had a pound symbol in front of them,” says Erin Blachồng from CNBC. “He decided khổng lồ pitch the idea lớn Twitter, but the company told hlặng it was ‘nerdy’ & that it would never catch on.”

Jokes on them, right?


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Luckily, Messina was persistent, và the hashtag did catch on in a mighty powerful way. Messina was able khổng lồ get his contacts to lớn use hashtags in their tweets, & finally in 2009, Twitter added a feature that allowed users khổng lồ search for hashtags. #PrettyCool!

You need hashtags in every Instagram post: Here’s why

So why are hashtags so critical to lớn use in your Instagram marketing campaigns? Well, Instagram posts that use hashtags gain a 12.6% increase in engagement compared to those without.

“Not only vị hashtags help social truyền thông media users organize và categorize content, but they’re also one of the driving forces behind some of today’s best sale campaigns,” says Maddy Osman on Sprout Social.

Hashtagging is so effective sầu because it helps categorize similar content and make it even more discoverable, which is likely why hashtagged posts get so much more engagement than those without.

“When used strategically, hashtags can provide you with a ton of benefits,” says Olivia Ryan. “They can be used to get your nội dung in front of a bigger audience, raise awareness about your brvà, target a very specific group of people, boost your SEO, & use hot trends and topics khổng lồ your advantage.”

And finally, hashtags give you visibility in search results—an excellent Instagram SEO strategy.

So what are you waiting for? If you want your audience to see your Instagram content, it’s time lớn up your Instagram #hashtag game!

8 ways khổng lồ become an Instagram hashtag pro

You might already be using hashtags in your Instagram captions and comments, or you might be skipping those for now. Whether you’re trying to lớn boost your impact or get started, these tips will help you lớn hashtag lượt thích the professional! Here are eight tips to master your Instagram hashtag game.


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Start searching: Type hashtag ideas into the Instagram search bar & see what autofills.Check your competitors: See what your competition is doing, as well as brands and account that your target audience is likely following. Getting inspiration from other accounts can be super helpful khổng lồ gain an understanding of what hashtags are trending (more on this in tip #3!).

The key khổng lồ selecting good hashtags is to lớn ensure they are on target with your target audience’s interests, & popular but not overly popular—you don’t want lớn get lost in the clutter. You know the kid in school who wasn’t considered “popular,” but was well-liked và known amongst many groups? You want that to fall inlớn a similar arena with your hashtag game.

“We’ve noticed that the more nibịt the topic, the more conversations users are having around it, so it pays off to really hone in on a topic or theme,” says Benjamin Chacon from Later.

2. Don’t over hashtag

While it might be tempting to lớn hashtag your little heart away on each post, it isn’t good lớn go overboard on hashtags. When it comes to having more of an impact with your hashtag game, it can actually pay off more to lớn be picky. In fact, retìm kiếm has found that the optimal number of hashtags per post is 11.

While Instagram allows you lớn use up to 30 hashtags per post, your time is better spent researching & using a handful of super effective sầu hashtags rather than stockpiling a ton of tags per post.


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Hashtags & burgers: better in moderation.

“Tossing 30 hashtags on a post only does so much-especially for businesses,” says Alex York from Sprout Social. “It gets khổng lồ #overkill pretty quickly. And if your brand isn’t focusing on the right questions or goals, all of this seems a bit worthless to invest your valuable sale time.”

3. Get inspired by other Instagrammers in your industry

There is absolutely nothing wrong with spying on your competition from time lớn time. In fact, when it comes lớn hashtagging this can be a super useful investigative activity. Joining in on trendy industry topic hashtags và finding niđậy industry-related tags that your audience is likely following can be insanely beneficial for upping your hashtag game.

Take this food blogger, Restoring Radiance, for example. Below, you can see that she posted a picture of her yogurt, và rather than using simple hashtags, lượt thích #yogurt or eakfast, she used many hashtags mentioning other brands that her target audience is likely following lượt thích #f52grams & #foodgawker.


Why not take a page from her book and use some popular industry hashtags in your next Instagram post?

4. Create your own hashtag campaigns

The cool thing about hashtagging is that you aren’t restricted khổng lồ using other hashtags that have sầu already been used. You can get creative sầu & build a chiến dịch around your very own branded hashtag. This can take your br& lớn an entirely new level if done in a creative sầu & engaging way.

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Take the unforgettable #IceBucketChallenge. The marketing team for the ALS Association was able to raise awareness with this hashtag campaign, but they also raised a substantial amount of money ($115 million to be exact!). Think about how you can vị something similar by getting your followers to WANT to lớn use your hashtag, which will help spread br& awareness about your business khổng lồ other Instagrammers.


5. Keep your hashtags consistent—but not too consistent

As discussed above sầu, it is important lớn retìm kiếm your hashtags for each post và ensure you aren’t using hashtags that are overly popular. If you vì, your posts are likely to lớn get lost in the sea of other hashtagged post. But should you be using a new set of five sầu lớn 10 hashtags for every single post you compose?

The answer is no. There is absolutely nothing wrong with re-using the same well-researched, highly targeted hashtags if those are what appeal khổng lồ your audience. In fact, you should keep a note handy so you can easy copy và paste your commonly used hashtags inlớn new posts. However, spicing things up a bit is also encouraged. For example, use the same five or so on-brvà hashtags, but add in a few new ones that are even more relevant khổng lồ the photograph or đoạn Clip you are sharing. Relevancy is critical when it comes to hashtag use: If someone is exploring a hashtag and your super irrelevant post pops up, it could make the entire br& look un-reputable.

6. Build a giveaway around a branded hashtag

Everyone loves không tính phí stuff. This is just simple human nature. I find myself entering Instagram giveaways on the daily to lớn win cookbooks of chefs and bakers I follow. Often, these giveaways are quite simple lớn enter. The brvà will post about giving away a copy of whichever cookbook và ask you lớn tag a frikết thúc in the comments lớn enter. While this is a super easy và doable way to give sầu something away, why not take it a step further with a branded hashtag?

Take the example below from Talalla Retreat, a beach-front resort that emphasizes yoga. Rather than just having users like và tag someone in the comments, their conkiểm tra required folks to lớn post a picture with the hashtag #WINTalalla. What I love sầu about this type of giveaway is that it is still easy khổng lồ enter, but it’s going to lớn get so many more eyes on your br& since those entering have sầu to cốt truyện a photo lớn lớn their entire followers danh sách while using the branded hashtag.


7. Use hashtagging lớn connect

Another wonderful thing about hashtags is that they are a great way lớn connect with others và build a community. Keeping an eye on trending hashtags can help you discover new partners and engage those who are in your target market. Building an Instagram sale chiến dịch around a hashtag can also be a super useful way khổng lồ partner up with a related brvà. This will help you gain even more exposure, since this partner br& will be posting about your company to their entire audience.

Here is a great example from Lululemon UK and Stava, which partnered to run a fun challenge encouraging followers to lớn complete a 40-80K run và tag their Instagram posts #4080challenge.


Using a single branded hashtag that’s catchy and clever is a great way of keeping things consistent. It’s also a great way to building a hashtag that happy customers will be excited khổng lồ use khổng lồ mô tả their new kicks!

Follow These Instagram Hashtag Best Practices

As you step up your hashtag game, it’ll vì you good lớn keep these things in mind.

1. Relevancy to lớn what you do almost always trumps the popularity of a tag. Be as specific as you can!

2. Don’t include the maximum number of hashtags just because you can. Test your posts lớn find the sweet spot, the perfect number for you. In a similar vein, keep an eye out for the correlation between your most popular posts và the hashtags you use. Don’t keep using those that don’t work as well just because you can.

3. Follow your best hashtags (and especially your own, if you have a branded one). By keeping an eye on the tags you use, you can see what kind of nội dung is popular and who’s posting using those tags. You can then reach out and engage with them directly, which may earn you some followers.

4. Keep an eye on your competitors and industry influencers. If you’re not sure what tags would be worth using, just take a look at what others are using successfully in your industry, That will give you a good starting point from which to lớn mold your own strategy.

The trăng tròn Most Popular Instagram Hashtags

I know, I know: This entire post I’ve been discouraging you from using the most “popular” hashtags. Why? Standing out in a crowded space can make you unnoticeable. So instead of focusing on the popular tags, the best way khổng lồ achieve hashtag success is to lớn find nibịt hashtags that are only popular aý muốn your very selective sầu target audience.

So why are we going over the most popular Instagram hashtags now? Well, just because I’m discouraging you from using these exact hashtags below does not mean you cannot draw inspiration from them. For instance, take #love sầu. Why not make a hashtag about #love sầu that incorporates your br&. #segala.infoLove sầu sounds pretty catchy to lớn me!

Or let’s take #instagood, for example. If you run a new restaurant, then this hashtag could not make more sense—so why not try it with a hint of localization lớn show your tasty food around your city? Just take a look at the #instagood hashtag vs. #instagoodboston. The #instagood has a whopping 979,097,201 POSTS.


#love#instagood#me#tbt#cute#follow#followme#photooftheday#happy#tagforlikes#beautiful#self#girl#picoftheday#like4like#smile#friends#fun#like#fashion

Rethành viên, the best way lớn use these hashtags is for inspiration—not for hashtag stuffing.

Use Tools khổng lồ Analyze Your Hashtag Performance

Now that you are a hashtagging wizard, it’s time to lớn see if your knowledge has been successful at accomplishing your goals. That’s right: It’s time to talk reporting.

Luckily, there are ton of tools that can make this part of the hashtagging process super easy to help you become an even better hashtagger over time. Let’s take a look at a few of our favorites!

1. Instagram Insights

This is one of my favorites because it’s not a new tool. It is simply just the insights provided by Instagram, và therefore it is FREE, yay! The Insights include the analytics that you need under the “Instagram Insights” tab around activity, content, và your audience.

And if you are looking lớn explore the success of your hashtags for individual posts, you can dig inlớn that posts impressions khổng lồ see how many came from hashtags in comparison khổng lồ home page, protệp tin, & others.


The best part: All of this helpful không tính tiền info is available right in your Instagram account.

2. Sprout Social

If you are looking lớn get a bit more detail on individual hashtag performance, it might be worth investing in another reporting tool that digs inlớn the details, lượt thích Sprout Social. This robust social reporting tool will allow you to lớn generate Instagram Hashtag Performance Reports lớn bởi a variety of things, including:

Compare your most used Instagram hashtags lớn the ones that get the most engagement.See how branded hashtags perform relative sầu to lớn broader hashtags.Use their tagging feature to build chiến dịch specific hashtag reports.

3. Iconosquare

If you’re looking for a very compressive Instagram management platsize, Iconosquare may just be the perfect tool for you. While the pricing is a bit higher there is a ton you can from scheduling social posts, tracking and responding khổng lồ comments, and accessing very detailed analytics all from one place.

When it comes khổng lồ hashtag tracking, this tool provides quite sophisticated analytical data in regards khổng lồ hashtag engagement and whether or not certain hashtags are contributing khổng lồ brand and/or chiến dịch growth.